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With a very pragmatic brief, the new interior for production company/design studio PostPanic designed by Maurice Mentjens ended up being a playground for the eyes.

By Jeanne Tan / 28-10-2009

PostPanic combines a design/animation studio and production company, producing commercial projects for the international advertising, retail, broadcast and music industries alongside self-initiated projects. The studio's work is strongly focused on imagery and perception.

For the interior of their recently completed offices in Amsterdam's Westerdoksdijk designed by Maurice Mentjens, functionality was the biggest priority. The philosophy of PostPanic to do everything in-house - production, direction and animation - required that each department have their own separate areas. Simultaneously a quality of openness throughout the office overall had to be retained. The design also had to accommodate the changing number of staff which fluctuates from 14 to 40, depending on the various stages of production. Importantly, the space had to reflect the creative, dynamic outlook of the company.

The holistic design concept and thoughtful use of materials ensures each individual space remains distinctive while simultaneously being part of the whole. The feel of the interior juxtaposes an industrial aesthetic with theatrical elements: bold colours, playful details and warm textures. The raw concrete shell formed the starting point of the design with exposed services - more for pragmatic reasons due to low ceiling height - complementing the industrial feel.

PostPanic's offices comprise an open production area and mezzanine 2D/3D studio, enclosed meeting room, office and a central multifunctional entry space which functions as the studio's living room, informal meeting room, cinema, and seminar/exhibition space. Cleverly maximising space, furniture cleverly doubles as spatial division elements. The focus of the five metre high entrance space is an oak grandstand facing a projection screen, which functions as tiered seating and stairs to the mezzanine studios. A custom-designed grand table with a sunken centre to house magazines, accommodates lunches, meetings or reading. Adjacent is the production area, recognisable from the Persian-style carpet which adorns the walls acting also as a sound dampener. Bookshelves suspended between concrete columns separate the production area from the public space while a cupboard extends high enough to form the balustrade for the upper floor staff room. The interior of the meeting room - floor, walls and table - is carpeted as one single object, with its fluid lines resembling a futuristic grotto. Large wooden pivot doors provide separation from the hall. The Persian carpet is echoed in the edit room, which features mirrored walls to suggest an illusion of endless space.

By introducing the mezzanine, the required floor space is created without compromising the studio’s open feel. To establish a sense of uniformity and calm in the upstairs studios, the floor, walls and balustrade are painted a milky green. Built-in furniture hides away office clutter: storage is concealed under the tables while the balustrade doubles as a cupboard. The highlight is the custom-designed installation of fluorescent tubes that radiates over the different areas, topping off a dynamic interior that doesn't need to scream to be heard.

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